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We just want appointment best practice

As you have highlighted in your article, NHS London developed a London-level analysis to consider how we could secure improvements in quality of care, while maximising productivity and value for money.

Our strategy is underpinned by the plan to shift activity out of the acute sector into polyclinics.

We intend to treat a far greater proportion of people with long-term conditions in the community. Our analysis is based upon the premise that we can standardise the average length of appointment times – for example by introducing greater use of new channels of communication such as telephone and email consultations.

Our London-level modelling was based upon current appointment lengths of 10 to 15 minutes. We then assumed appointment lengths would increase to on average

15 minutes because of the planned increase in GP consultations with people with long-terms conditions.

However, through standardisation and moving towards best practice, our modelling brought this down to 10 minutes on average.

This analysis was at London level. Commissioners are now developing their own specific plans.

Sam Higginson
Assistant director of strategy, NHS London